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Over the Moon #37

  • Private mission to station

  • Air Force and costs

  • Artemis mission

  • Chinese launch
Published every Thursday

Spaceflight Now

Axiom finalizing agreements for private astronaut mission to space station

The chief executive of Axiom Space says agreements with NASA, SpaceX, and fare-paying passengers should be finalized in the coming weeks for the launch of the first all-private crew to the International Space Station in October 2021, and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria is set to command the mission.

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Scientific American

Social Distancing on a Cosmic Scale

Advanced extraterrestrials may just not be interested in travel or communication

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What is a galaxy?

This is a giant galaxy cluster known as Abell 2744, aka Pandora’s Cluster, located in the direction of the constellation Sculptor. The cluster is about 4 million light-years across and has the mass of 4 trillion suns. It appears to be the result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least 4 separate, smaller galaxy clusters that took place over a span of 350 million years.

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NASA’s Powerful Webb Space Telescope Will Explore the Cores of Merging Galaxies

Although the two galaxies in NGC 3256 appear merged when viewed in visible light, a second, bright nucleus is found hiding among the tangle of dust lanes in the central region. By using a range of telescopes on the ground and in space, the GOALS (Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey) research team has been analyzing galaxies like NGC 3256 from X-ray through radio wavelengths. NGC 3256 has a buried active nucleus, large-scale shocks from two powerful outflows, and a huge number of compact, bright star clusters. Upcoming research with the James Webb Space Telescope will help researchers learn more about the outflows, which will allow them to better model the hot and cold gas, and determine what implications that has for how and where stars form in rapidly evolving galaxies.

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NASA Space Flight

Suprise Chinese launch lofts Huanjing duo – NASASpaceFlight.com

In a surprise launch, China orbited two environmental and disaster management satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on early Sunday. Huanjing-2A (HJ-2A) and Huanjing-2B (HJ-2B) were launched from the LC9 Launch Complex at 03:23UTC using the Long March-4B – Chang Zheng-4B – (Y42) rocket.

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MIT Technology Review

How the Artemis moon mission could help get us to Mars

But the agency never clearly explained how this is supposed to happen. The most important projects that are supposed to enable Artemis — the next-gen Space Launch System rocket and the Orion crew capsule — are not yet finished. Most experts agree the program is underfunded. The chief of human exploration at NASA has been replaced three times in just the last year. The agency does not even have a lunar lander picked out. So even if we get to the moon in 2024 (by no means a given), how do we ensure a Mars settlement comes next?

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Roll Call

Air Force, SpaceX mum about sky-high rocket costs

WASHINGTON — Five years ago, Elon Musk, the multibillionaire CEO of the SpaceX rocket company, smashed his way into the business of launching U.S. military and intelligence satellites, a lucrative market that had been cornered for nearly a decade by United Launch Alliance.

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The National

The day the UAE sent its first astronaut to space

A flash of light at the Baikonur Cosmodrome and, nine minutes later, astronaut Maj Hazza Al Mansouri was in orbit

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Spaceflight Now

NASA lays out $28 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon in 2024

NASA officials released a nearly five-year, $28 billion plan Monday to return astronauts to the surface of the moon before the end of 2024, but the agency’s administrator said the “aggressive” timeline set by the Trump administration last year hinges on Congress approving $3.2 billion in the next few months to kick-start development of new human-rated lunar landers.

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The Conversation

Why the detection of phosphine in the clouds of Venus is a big deal

On September 14, a new planet was added to the list of potentially habitable worlds in the Solar System: Venus.

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